January 20th, 2018

Choosing and Using a Progressive Press — 6.5 Guys Video

6.5 Guys Progressive Press video Gavin Gear Ultimate Reloader

Progressive reloading presses offer shooters speed and efficiency in producing custom-tailored rifle and pistol ammunition. However, there is a wide choice of Progressive Presses and a bewildering array of options to consider. In this video, the 6.5 Guys and UltimateReloader.com’s Gavin Gear provide an overview of the leading Progressive Presses on the market along with key considerations for precision rifle shooters. If you are considering getting a Progessive for rifle ammo reloading, you should watch this informative, 25-minute video.

10 Tips for Reloading Precision Rifle Ammo on a Progressive Press:

1. Make sure the brass is very clean. Don’t mix old range pick-up brass with newer brass.

2. Apply a thin, spray lube to all cases before the sizing/loading cycle.

3. Consider priming your brass separately (with a hand or bench tool) before the operation. Then inspect the primers before loading powder and bullets.

4. Always wear eye protection when loading with the Progressive, particularly if you are priming cases.

5. With tape, mark the powder measure/dropper with the powder type and charge weight.

6. Cycle a few cases, sizing and adding powder but NOT seating bullets. Weigh the powder charges to ensure the powder measure is dispensing the correct charge. Sometimes this will change a couple tenths as it “settles down” after the first few charges.

7. Check the brass for shoulder bump and bullet seating depth carefully for the first few rounds, then check again periodically.

8. Try to maintain a steady pace and operate the handle the same way every time.

9. Visually inspect the powder charge in each case (before bullet seating), and use a lock-out die if your Progressive Press has enough stations.

10. Never, ever mix pistol and rifle powders! If you have previously loaded pistol ammo with your Progressive, make sure ALL the powder (every flake and kernel) is removed from all components of the powder-dropping system before you add rifle powder.

Loading Pistol Ammo on a Dillon

The .45 ACP is probably our favorite centerfire pistol cartridge. In this video, Gavin Gear shows how to load this popular round on a Dillon 550B Progressive Press:

Visit these sites for more Reloading and Precision Shooting Videos:

6.5 Guys
https://www.youtube.com/user/65guys
http://www.65Guys.com

Ultimate Reloader
https://www.youtube.com/ultimatereloader
http://www.UltimateReloader.com

Permalink - Videos, Reloading Post comment »
January 20th, 2018

RCBS Lock-Out Die Helps Prevent Faulty Charges on Progressives

RCBS Lock-out dieIf you load pistol or rifle ammo with a progressive press, we strongly recommend you get a Lock-Out Die from RCBS. This unique reloading die will prevent your progressive press from advancing if the dispensed powder charge is more or less than about 0.3 grains too high or too low. The Lock-Out Die really works. Your Editor uses it on his RCBS 2000 progressive press. I can affirm that a Lock-Out Die has “saved my bacon” a half-dozen times over the years when there was an over-charge (which could cause a Kaboom) or a low charge (which could cause a squib load).

The Lock-Out Die works by using a central die detection rod that sets its vertical position based on the height of the powder column in the case. Through an ingenious design, if the powder column height is too low or too high, the rod locks in place as you start to pull the press handle. This halts the press before the ram can lift and the cartridge plate can advance. Unlike a beeping alarm system (which can be ignored or defeated), the Lock-Out Die physically stops the movement of the press ram and prevents a bullet being seated in the “problem” case.

RCBS Lock-out dieIt takes a bit of tweaking to get the Lock-Out Die detection rod setting just right, but once it is correctly positioned, the Lock-Out Die works smoothly in the background. The Lock-Out Die won’t interfere with the loading process unless it detects a high or low charge — and then it positively stops the progressive loading cycle.

While crafted for use in RCBS progressive presses, the RCBS Lock-Out Die can also be used on a Dillon XL Progressive (see video below) or Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive — though it does take up one station which could otherwise be used for a final crimp die (after the seating die). The RCBS 2000 has one more station than a Dillon 550/650, so it’s an ideal platform for using the Lock-Out Die.

Learn More at UltimateReloader.com
On the UltimateReloader.com website, run by our friend Gavin, you’ll find an excellent two-part series on the function and set-up of the RCBS Lock-Out Die. Part One explains how the Lock-Out Die functions, using cut-away illustrations. Part Two shows how to install and adjust the Lock-Out Die on various progressive presses. The video below shows setup of the RCBS Lock-Out Die on the Dillon XL-650 progressive press.

Images © 2011 UltimateReloader.com, used by permission.
Permalink Reloading, Tech Tip Post comment »
January 20th, 2018

Five Great Tech Articles: Bedding, Target Software, Case Prep, Action Torque, Stock Painting

Technical Article AccurateShooter OnTarget, Stock painting, Pillar Bedding

AccurateShooter.comReaders who have just recently discovered the Daily Bulletin may not realize that AccurateShooter.com has hundreds of reference articles in our archives. These authoritative articles are divided into mutiple categories, so you can easily view stories by topic (such as competition, tactical, rimfire, optics, shooting skills etc.). One of the most popular categories is our Technical Articles Collection. On a handy index page (with thumbnails for every story), you’ll find over 100 articles covering technical and gunsmithing topics. These articles can help you with major projects (such as stock painting), and they can also help you build more accurate ammo. Here are five popular selections from our Technical Articles archive.

pillar Bedding

Stress-Free Pillar Bedding.
Richard Franklin explains how to do a top-quality bedding job, start to finish.

On Target Software Review

OnTarget Software Review.
Our Editors test free software that measures shot groups with great precision. We explain how to use the program and configure advanced features.

Savage Action Tuning Torque Settings

Savage Action Tuning.
Top F-TR shooter Stan Pate explains how to enhance the performance of your Savage rifle by optimizing the torque settings of the action screws.

Precision Case Prep for Reloading

Complete Precision Case Prep.
Jake Gottfredson covers the complete case prep process, including brass weight sorting, case trimming, primer pocket uniforming, neck-sizing, and, case-neck turning.

rifle stock painting and spraying

Stock Painting Instructions.
Step-by-step guide for stock painting by expert Mike Ricklefs. Mike shows both simple coverage and fancy effects.

Permalink - Articles, Gunsmithing, Tech Tip Post comment »
January 19th, 2018

CMP 2018 Competition Rules Issued — Some Notable Changes

2017 CMP Rules Competition Pistol High Power new

The 2018 CMP competition rules are now approved and posted on the CMP website. The 2018 CMP Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules and the 2018 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules can be downloaded on the CMP Competition Rules Page.

CLICK HERE for 2018 Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules »

CLICK HERE for 2018 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules »

2018 CMP Rules Competition Pistol High Power new

Evolution of CMP Competition Rules
There are a number of important CMP Rule changes for 2018 that are spelled out below. CMP Competition Rules have undergone major changes in the last few years that were aimed at modernizing the CMP competition program and promoting greater participation in rifle and pistol target shooting. In 2015, rule changes expanded the types of pistols that can be used in EIC and National Match Service Pistol events and introduced the immediately popular CMP 22 Rimfire Pistol Distinguished program. The most significant 2016 change was the authorization for Service Rifle shooters to use optical sights with 4.5X max magnification. 2017 saw the introduction of a new classification system, rules for electronic targets and the addition of rules for “Alternative Rifles” and “Match Rifles”.

Important Rules Changes for 2018
The biggest change in the 2018 Rules is the introduction of a two-track system for conducting CMP-sanctioned Highpower Rifle Matches. Highpower Rifle events can now be conducted as either traditional “National Trophy Rifle Events” where there are no sighting shots and competitors start rapid-fire series from standing or as “CMP Cup Match Events” where sighting shots are allowed before each stage and competitors start rapid-fire series in position. All EIC Rifle Matches and Camp Perry National Trophy Matches will continue to be conducted according to National Trophy rules, with no sighters and rapid-fire starting from standing. The CMP Cup Matches, which are scheduled at the beginning of the 2018 CMP Highpower Rifle Matches at Camp Perry on 23-25 July, and the CMP Cup Matches, which are included in the 2018 CMP Travel Games programs, will be conducted under Cup Match rules with sighters and rapid-fire stages starting in position.

The rules for CMP As-Issued Military Rifle and Pistol events and Rimfire Sporter Matches remain unchanged in this regard. These events typically allow sighters at the beginning of each course of fire. Competitors start rapid-fire series from standing, but any competitors who are 70 or over or who have physical limitations that prevent them from readily standing and getting back into position are allowed to start rapid-fire series in position.

Otherwise the 2018 CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Rules, which include Rimfire Sporter Rifle Rules, have only minor changes from the 2017 edition.

National Records — Rules providing for the official recognition of National Records in open and junior categories in CMP-recognized events were added for 2018. The CMP is compiling its first list of official records and will post it on the CMP website as soon as it is ready. To be recognized as National Records, scores must be fired in the National Matches or in competitions conducted by the CMP staff such as CMP Travel Games or National Range Matches.

CMP Smallbore Matches Coming to Camp Perry
Traditional smallbore rifle championships are returning to Camp Perry in 2018 and rules for those events are being drafted now. The 2018 National Matches Calendar features six days of CMP Smallbore Rifle shooting on 17-22 July. There will be two days of smallbore position and four days of smallbore prone shooting, along with one full day of Rimfire Sporter Rifle competition on 22 July. Provisional CMP Smallbore Rifle Rules will be released in the next few weeks.

Electronic Targets — A new section has been added to the CMP Rulebooks to help explain and clarify the CMP’s Electronic Scoring Target Rules. See Rule 7.0 in the CMP Competition Highpower Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules or Rule 9.0 in the CMP Games Rifle and Pistol Competition Rules.

CMP RULE CHANGES for 2018 by Rulebook

Read the rest of this entry »

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January 19th, 2018

FREE Creedmoor Scoring Book App for iOS and Android

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple Android

Creedmoor Sports High Power CMP Competition Scoring App Apple AndroidTired of hauling around an old-fashioned Score Book and making entries with pencil and paper? Well now you can go digital — Creedmoor Sports has released a full-featured Scoring Book App that lets you plot your shot locations using an iPhone, iPod, or iPad (Apple tablet). The price is right — just visit the iTunes store to download the App for FREE.

Record Match and Practice Data
This new App, available for free in the Apple App Store, and the Google Play Store provides all the same functions and capabilities of the traditional Creedmoor print Data Book, but with the convenience and ease of recording your match and practice information with your iPhone or tablet. With this App you can break your 20 shot slow-fire segments into either 10- or 20-shot targets, and also opt for sighting shots. All the specific event data can also be recorded, such as location, wind, light etc., along with wind and elevation adjustments.

creedmoor scoring app

Download HERE for iOS (Apple)

creedmoor scoring app

Download HERE for Android OS

creedmoor scoring app

COMMUNICATIONS Restrictions: In some matches you are not allowed to have electronic communication ability, so you may have to set your iPhone to “Airplane Mode”, or use this only with an iPod (which does not have two-way communication capability).
Permalink Competition, New Product Post comment »
January 19th, 2018

JP MicroFit Takedown Pins for AR15s and AR10s

JP Enterprises MicroFit Pins AR15 takedown pin

Does your Black Rifle have a sloppy upper/lower fit? That can be annoying; what’s more, loose fit can limit accuracy potential. Here’s a clever solution for poor-fitting AR-15 and AR-10 upper and lower receivers. The new JP MicroFit takedown pins can improve even the sloppiest ARs, providing a rock-solid upper/lower receiver fit.

MicroFit pins come in three sizes and two types: standard (“mean”), oversized, and undersized, with types for both front and rear of the receivers. The mean pins match standard takedown pin sizes while the over- and under-sized vary by slightly more than .001″ (+/-) from the standard diameter. NOTE: Although most poor-fitting receivers are loose, some are too tight. Very tight receivers, such as post-Cerakote, can be remedied with the undersized pins.

JP Enterprises MicroFit Pins AR15 takedown pin
Shown is JP Enterprises’ PSC-12™ upper assembly with LRP-07™ lower assembly.

“An AR with a loose upper/lower receiver… will not reach its accuracy potential. That was the goal with our original JP Tension Pin, but MicroFit™ pins provide the same result without tool-assisted takedown. The MicroFit pins require no modification to the receiver. They simply replace your current pins”, stated JP Enterprises founder John Paul.

JP’s MicroFit pins feature a polished black finish with a hard, durable QPQ coating. This provides smooth insertion/removal plus excellent corrosion resistance. All pins feature a two-faceted punch or bullet capturing recess. This allows the user to apply force to the pins safely without risking scratching the receiver. JP’s MicroFit pins are sold as both as individual pins and as replacement sets.

Permalink New Product, Tactical Post comment »
January 18th, 2018

5 Degrees of Doom — The Danger of Over-Shooting the Berm

Gun Angle long range

In our Shooters’ Forum, there was an discussion about a range that was threatened with closure because rifle over-shoots were hitting a farm building over two miles from the firing line. One reader was skeptical of this, asking “how’s that possible — were these guys aiming at the stars?” Actually, you may be surprised. It doesn’t take much up-angle on a rifle to have a bullet land miles down-range. That’s why it’s so important that hunters and target shooters always orient their barrels in a safe direction (and angle). Shooters may not realize how much a small tilt of the barrel (above horizontal) can alter a bullet’s trajectory.

How many degrees of muzzle elevation do you think it would take to hit a barn at 3000 yards? Ten Degrees? Twenty Degrees? Actually the answer is much less — for a typical hunting cartridge, five to seven degrees of up-angle on the rifle is enough to create a trajectory that will have your bullet impacting at 3000 yards — that’s 1.7 miles away!

Gun Angle long range

Five degrees isn’t much at all. Look at the diagram above. The angle actually displayed for the up-tilted rifle is a true 5.07 degrees (above horizontal). Using JBM Ballistics, we calculated 5.07° as the angle that would produce a 3000-yard impact with a 185gr .30-caliber bullet launched at 2850 fps MV. That would be a moderate “book load” for a .300 Win Mag deer rifle.

Here’s how we derived the angle value. Using Litz-derived BCs for a 185gr Berger Hunting VLD launched at 2850 fps, the drop at 3000 yards is 304.1 MOA (Minutes of Angle), assuming a 100-yard zero. This was calculated using a G7 BC with the JBM Ballistics Program. There are 60 MOA for each 1 degree of Angle. Thus, 304.1 MOA equals 5.068 degrees. So, that means that if you tilt up your muzzle just slightly over five degrees, your 185gr bullet (2850 fps MV) will impact 3000 yards down-range.

Figuring Trajectories with Different Bullets and MVs
If the bullet travels slower, or if you shoot a bullet with a lower BC, the angle elevation required for a 3000-yard impact goes up, but the principle is the same. Let’s say you have a 168gr HPBT MatchKing launched at 2750 fps MV from a .308 Winchester. (That’s a typical tactical load.) With a 100-yard zero, the total drop is 440.1 MOA, or 7.335 degrees. That’s more up-tilt than our example above, but seven degrees is still not that much, when you consider how a rifle might be handled during a negligent discharge. Think about a hunter getting into position for a prone shot. If careless, he could easily touch off the trigger with a muzzle up-angle of 10 degrees or more. Even when shooting from the bench, there is the possibility of discharging a rifle before the gun is leveled, sending the shot over the berm and, potentially, thousands of yards down-range.

Hopefully this article has shown folks that a very small amount of barrel elevation can make a huge difference in your bullet’s trajectory, and where it eventually lands. Nobody wants to put holes in a distant neighbor’s house, or worse yet, have the shot cause injury. Let’s go back to our original example of a 185gr bullet with a MV of 2850 fps. According to JBM, this projectile will still be traveling 687 fps at 3000 yards, with 193.7 ft/lbs of retained energy at that distance. That’s more than enough energy to be deadly.

Permalink News 3 Comments »
January 18th, 2018

RCBS Has New Brass Work Station with Six Powered Toolheads

New RCBS cartridge brass chamfering deburring power tool head station Brass Boss six

RCBS has announced the successor to the venerable RCBS Trim Mate. The New-for-2018 RCBS Brass Boss features six rotating stations that handle all your brass neck-brushing, chamfering, deburring, and pocket uniforming chores. The new Brass Boss includes tools for all six stations: inside VLD chamfering tool, outside deburring tool, primer pocket cleaners (small/large), military crimp removers (small/large), primer pocket uniformers (small/large), case neck brushes (four diameters), and a tub of dry case neck lubricant. MSRP for the Brass Boss, RCBS SKU 90390, is $189.95. We expect “street price” to be around $155.00.

New RCBS cartridge brass chamfering deburring power tool head station Brass Boss sixThis machine has two different rotation speeds for the toolheads. Four stations run at 350 rpm, while the two other stations run 57% faster, at 550 rpm. That give you a choice of spin speeds. You can work fast for tougher chores like military crimp removal, and slow down for inside-neck chamfering, which should be done carefully.

Larger and taller than the older RCBS Trim Mate, the new Brass Boss has one more station (six vs. five), plus a more powerful motor. This should make the Brass Boxx more competitive with the popular Lyman Case Prep Express.

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January 18th, 2018

Williamsport Benchrest School 2018 Registration Opens

Williamsport 1000 yard Benchrest School
Sebastian Reist photo.

Williamsport benchrest schoolWant to learn long-range benchrest skills from the best in the business? Then head to Williamsport, PA this June. The registration period for the 2018 PA 1000 Yard Benchrest School is now open. This year’s session will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, 2018, with a “Meet and Greet” on Friday Night. Classes, taught by top 1K shooters, are held at the Original Pennsylvania 1000-Yard Benchrest Club Range, one of the best 1000-yard ranges in the country. The school will be limited to 25-30 students with one instructor for every two students.

CLICK HERE for 2018 Williamsport 1K Benchrest School Application
(MS Word Document)

Williamsport Shooting School Benchrest 1000 Yard

Praise from a 1K Benchrest School Grad
Here’s a testimonial from a recent graduate: “I can attest to the knowledge that you gain. I went last year and loved it. Have renewed my membership in the Club and would love to go this year. I would love to take the course again. In the photo above I am in the back row, fourth from the right — sunglasses and blue shirt.” — Bob, Class of 2016

Participants will learn all aspects of long-range benchrest shooting from some of the most skilled marksmen in the country. Much time is spent at the loading bench and on the firing line. Classes cover load development, precision reloading, bench skills, and target analysis. You don’t even need guns and ammo — all equipment and ammunition will be provided.

School instructors tell us: “This year’s benchrest school will be a 2-day weekend event. (There is also an optional ‘Meet and Greet’ gathering Friday evening). The school is a beginner class designed to teach the fundamental skills needed to be competitive at at 600 and 1000 yards. Saturday will be spent in class covering a range of topics including reloading ‘dos and don’ts’, load development and equipment handling. Sunday we will shoot an actual match to see what you’ve learned.”

Cost for the class is $425.00 including lunches on Sat/Sun and dinner on Saturday. Act soon if you want to attend the 2018 school — the school fills quickly. NOTE: To secure your placement, payment must be made in full prior to May 25th, 2018.

Watch Williamsport Benchrest School Slideshow:
Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this VideoPress video.

This slideshow was produced by Sebastian Reist an alumnus of the 2009 Williamsport 1000-yard BR school. SEE: www.sreistphotography.com.
Permalink Competition, Shooting Skills Post comment »
January 17th, 2018

Cartridge “Efficiency” — Factors to Consider from the USAMU

USAMU Handloading Guide Facebook cartridge efficiency

Efficient cartridges make excellent use of their available powder and case/bore capacity. They yield good ballistic performance with relatively little recoil and throat erosion.

USAMU Handloading Guide Facebook cartridge efficiency

Cartridge Efficiency: A Primer (pun intended!) by USAMU Staff

Each week, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading article on its Facebook Page. In this week’s article, the USAMU discusses cartridge case efficiency and its benefits. While this is oriented primarily toward NRA High Power Rifle and Long Range (1000-yard) competition, these factors also apply to medium/big game hunters. Assuming one’s rifle and ammunition are accurate, key considerations include ballistic performance (i.e., resistance to wind effects, plus trajectory), recoil, and throat erosion/barrel life.

Efficient cartridges make excellent use of their available powder and case/bore capacity. They yield good ballistic performance with relatively little recoil and throat erosion. A classic example in the author’s experience involved a featherweight 7x57mm hunting/silhouette rifle. When loaded to modern-rifle pressures, just 43-44 grains of powder pushed a 139gr bullet at 2900 fps from its 22” barrel. Recoil in this light rifle was mild; it was very easy to shoot well, and its performance was superb.

An acquaintance chose a “do everything” 7mm Remington Magnum for use on medium game at short ranges. A larger, heavier rifle, it used ~65 grains of powder to achieve ~3200 fps with similar bullets — from its 26″ barrel. Recoil was higher, and he was sensitive to it, which hampered his shooting ability.

Similarly efficient calibers include the 6mm BR [Norma], and others. Today’s highly-efficient calibers, such as 6mm BR and a host of newer developments might use 28-30 grains of powder to launch a 105-107gr match bullet at speeds approaching the .243 Winchester. The .243 Win needs 40-45 grain charges at the same velocity.

Champion-level Long Range shooters need every ballistic edge feasible. They compete at a level where 1″ more or less drift in a wind change could make the difference between winning and losing. Shooters recognized this early on — the then-new .300 H&H Magnum quickly supplanted the .30-06 at the Wimbledon winner’s circle in the early days.

The .300 Winchester Magnum became popular, but its 190-220gr bullets had their work cut out for them once the 6.5-284 and its streamlined 140-142gr bullets arrived on the scene. The 6.5-284 gives superb accuracy and wind performance with about half the recoil of the big .30 magnums – albeit it is a known barrel-burner.

Currently, the 7mm Remington Short Action Ultra-Magnum (aka 7mm RSAUM), is giving stellar accuracy with cutting-edge, ~180 grain bullets, powder charges in the mid-50 grain range and velocities about 2800+ fps in long barrels. Beyond pure efficiency, the RSAUM’s modern, “short and fat” design helps ensure fine accuracy relative to older, longer cartridge designs of similar performance.

Recent design advances are yielding bullets with here-to-fore unheard-of ballistic efficiency; depending on the cartridge, they can make or break ones decision. Ballistic coefficients (“BC” — a numerical expression of a bullet’s ballistic efficiency) are soaring to new heights, and there are many exciting new avenues to explore.

The ideal choice [involves a careful] balancing act between bullet BCs, case capacity, velocity, barrel life, and recoil. But, as with new-car decisions, choosing can be half the fun!

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Cartridges
For competitive shooters… pristine accuracy and ballistic performance in the wind are critical. Flat trajectory benefits the hunter who may shoot at long, unknown distances (nowadays, range-finders help). However, this is of much less importance to competitors firing at known distances.

Recoil is an issue, particularly when one fires long strings during competition, and/or multiple strings in a day. Its effects are cumulative; cartridges with medium/heavy recoil can lead to shooter fatigue, disturbance of the shooting position and lower scores.

For hunters, who may only fire a few shots a year, recoil that does not induce flinching during sight-in, practice and hunting is a deciding factor. Depending on their game and ranges, etc., they may accept more recoil than the high-volume High Power or Long Range competitor.

Likewise, throat erosion/barrel life is important to competitive shooters, who fire thousands of rounds in practice and matches, vs. the medium/big game hunter. A cartridge that performs well ballistically with great accuracy, has long barrel life and low recoil is the competitive shooter’s ideal. For the hunter, other factors may weigh more heavily.

Cartridge Efficiency and Energy — Another Perspective
Lapua staffer Kevin Thomas explains that efficiency can be evaluated in terms of energy:

“Cartridge efficiency is pretty straight forward — energy in vs. energy out. Most modern single-based propellants run around 178-215 ft/lbs of energy per grain. These figures give the energy potential that you’re loading into the rifle. The resulting kinetic energy transferred to the bullet will give you the efficiency of the round. Most cases operate at around 20-25% efficiency. This is just another way to evaluate the potential of a given cartridge. There’s a big difference between this and simply looking at max velocities produced by various cartridges.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 2 Comments »
January 17th, 2018

Understanding Milliradians (Mils) and Mil-Dot Scopes

mildot ranging milliradian Milrad

We first ran this article in 2012, and it was very well received. Since then, many Forum members have requested an explanation of MILS and mildots, so we decided to run this feature again…

Mildot scope reticleIn this NSSF Video, Ryan Cleckner, a former Sniper Instructor for the 1st Ranger Battalion, defines the term “MilliRadian” (Milrad) and explains how you can use a mildot-type scope to range the distance to your target. It’s pretty simple, once you understand the angular subtension for the reticle stadia dots/lines. Cleckner also explains how you can use the milrad-based reticle markings in your scope for elevation hold-overs and windage hold-offs.

Even if you normally shoot at known distances, the hold-off capability of milrad-reticle scopes can help you shoot more accurately in rapidly-changing wind conditions. And, when you must engage multiple targets quickly, you can use the reticle’s mil markings to move quickly from one target distance to another without having to spin your elevation turrets up and down.

WEB RESOURCES: If you want to learn more about using Milliradians and Mildot scopes, we suggest the excellent Mil-dot.com User Guide. This covers the basics you need to know, with clear illustrations. Also informative is The Truth about Mil Dots by Michael Haugen. Mr. Haugen begins with basic definitions: 1 radian = 2 PI; 1 Milliradian (Milrad or ‘Mil’) = 1/1000th of a radian; 1 Milliradian = .0573 degrees.

Permalink - Videos, Optics 2 Comments »
January 17th, 2018

For Smoother Bullet Seating — Try Dry Lube Inside Case Necks

Forster original caseneck case neck brass dry mica lube lubricator system

If you want smoother bullet seating, inside neck lube can help. Forum member Ackleyman II likes to add a little Mica powder inside his case necks before seating bullets. This is easily done with the Forster three-brush neck lube kit. Ackleyman tells us: “Many loads that I have will not shoot well with a dry neck compared to a neck that is cleaned and lubed with this [Forster Dry Lubricator] — the best $15 you have ever spent.”

The Forster Case Neck Lubricator features three brushes attached to a tough, impact-resistant case with holes for bench mounting. The brushes accommodate all calibers from 22 to 35 caliber. The kit includes enough “motor mica” to process 2000 to 3000 cases and has a cover to keep dust and grit from contaminating the mica. By moving the case neck up and down on the correct mica-covered brush, the neck can be cleaned and lubricated at the same time.

Function: Lubricate case necks for easier resizing
Contents: Kit with base, lid, and three nylon brushes
Lubricant: Includes 1/10 oz. of Motor Mica, enough to process 2000-3000 cases

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 4 Comments »
January 16th, 2018

Savage New Products — Adjustable Stocks, More Chamberings

Savage Arms 2018 new products Accufit AccuStock rifle stock MSR 10 Long Range

Savage Arms will launch more than two dozen new products at the 2018 SHOT Show, January 23-26 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The big news is the AccuFit stock system for the Model 110 rifle line. “Our new AccuFit System is designed to allow shooters to quickly adjust comb height and length-of-pull for a customized fit. This results in more consistent, more comfortable shooting”, says Beth Shimanski, Savage Senior Marketing Manager. These new Savages also feature the Accustock internal chassis with bedding block (see second video below).

AccuFit Adjustment System

Savage Arms 2018 new products Accufit AccuStock rifle stock MSR 10 Long Range

Accustock Embedded Chassis System

CLICK HERE for more videos showing new Savage Design and Engineering features.

More Chambering Options for Savage AR-Platform Rifles
Savage has added new chamberings for its MSR black rifle line-up. MSR 15 models will be newly offered in 224 Valkyrie, 22 Nosler, and 6.8 SPC. A 6mm Creedmoor version of the AR-10 platform MSR 10 Long Range has been added, and Savage will offer the hard-hitting .338 Federal chambering in the MSR Hunter rifle (along with 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win).

Savage 2018 New Product Highlights

Model 110 Storm with AccuFit: Features stainless steel action and barrel for adverse weather and conditions. Sixteen caliber and left-hand options.

Model 110 Long Range Hunter with AccuFit: Engineered for long-range shooting with a 26-inch barrel and muzzle brake. Nine caliber options, including 338 Lapua Magnum.

Model 110 Lightweight Storm: Easier to carry in field thanks to a lightweight stainless steel barrel and action. Length-of-pull is easily customized. Six caliber options.

AXIS II XP with New Stock: Popular package rifle with redesigned, ergonomic stock and Bushnell Banner 3-9×40 scope in full-size and compact models. Twenty caliber/configuration options.

MSR 15 Valkyrie: MSR 15 AR-type rifle chambered for the 224 Valkyrie. This new model features an adjustable gas block, furniture upgrades, and Elite Series Flat Dark Earth Cerakote finish.

MSR 15 Recon Long Range Precision: Equipped with alternate furniture options and chambered in all-new 224 Valkyrie, 22 Nosler, and 6.8 SPC.

MSR 10 Long Range in 6mm Creedmoor: AR-10 platform rifle design for long-range precision shooting. Chambered for the flat-shooting, modest-recoil 6mm Creedmoor cartridge.

MSR 10 Hunter in 338 Federal: Built specifically for hunters and chambered in the popular, hard-hitting .338 Federal.

B Series Compact and Left-hand: Extremely accurate bolt-action .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR options. Now available in compact and left-hand models.

A Series Pro Varmint: Semi-automatic options in .22 LR, .22 WMR and .17 HMR, all with Boyd’s Pro Varmint stock and 22-inch fluted, heavy barrel.

All of these new rifles, as well as more bolt-action and semi-auto centerfire and rimfire rifles, will be on display at SHOT Show Booth No. 14551. Most will be set up so visitors can handle the rifle and work trigger and bolt. To learn more about the new Savage rifles and their features, visit www.SavageArms.com.

Savage MSR 10 Long Range (6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win)

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, News 3 Comments »
January 16th, 2018

Hold Your Targets with Low-Cost Commercial Sign Frames

Sign frame commercial real estate target holder

Need a portable, light-weight target stand? Here’s a clever, minimalist alternative to big, bulky wood-framed or PVC pipe target stands. Those big frames will work, but they take up lots of space in your vehicle and, unless you build a very solid base, they tend to rock back and forth, or even blow over in high winds. With a commercial sign frame (the kind used for real estate signs) you can easily mount cardboard shooting targets.

For under $20.00 you can get a metal sign frame that can be staked directly in the ground. These sign frames, commonly used for real estate signs, are secure in high winds, and they are just about ideal if you need a simple target for zeroing during a varmint hunt. With most of these frames you can secure a cardboard target backer with zip ties or threaded fasteners. With some frames you just slide the cardboard backer into slots, so no fasteners are required. The most common “Empire-style” sign frame has a rectangular section at the top with two pointed ends about 10″ apart at the bottom. Put your foot on the crossbar to drive the frame into the ground. An angle-iron, Empire-style frame (no fasteners required) is offered by the fastrealestatesigns.com for $19.99.

target frame

target frameInexpensive Reinforced-Plastic Sign Frames
Shown at right is a plastic sign frame that requires no fasteners. Simply cut your cardboard target backer to 24″ (w) x 18″ (h) and slide it in from the top. Then stick the frame into the ground using the foot-slot near the bottom. These fiberglass-reinforced plastic sign frames are light yet surprisingly strong. They are also very inexpensive. The sign-holder at right costs $11.95 from Yardsigns.org. There is also an open top model ($10.95). And for $25.70 your can even get FIVE larger 25″-wide polyethylene sign frames that have hammer posts and foot-push tabs. Available in black or white, these are shown below. Buy a set of five, keep a couple, and give the other three to your buddies.

Sign frame commercial real estate target holder

TIP: Sign Frames Are Not Ideal For All Terrain
If you shoot where the ground is very hard or rocky, these stake-in-the-ground frames may not work so well. They need to be seated firmly in the soil. But if you shoot in an area with soft soil or grassy turf, these frames can be a handy solution. Simple, light-weight and easy to set-up, they make a nice “field expedient” target holder.

Permalink Tech Tip 3 Comments »
January 15th, 2018

Bargain Finder 121: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

Q: How Good Are These Deals?
A: The Savings Are Significant — Get Some Items at Half Price.
Here are two examples. Last week we featured a MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat at $29.99. The same mat is priced now at $59.99, DOUBLE our Deals price. Likewise, late last year we featured the RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit for $224.99 after Rebate. That deal sold out and now you’d have to pay $297.69, nearly one-third more! We work hard to find these deals, with savings of 25-50%. Save hundreds of dollars on firearms and big-ticket items.

1. Sportsman’s Guide — Stevens 320 12 GA Shotgun, $179.99

Savage Stevens 320 security pump shotgun

Every ranch, farm, or household can use a defensive 12 Gauge shotgun. We like ghost ring sights on our self-defense scatterguns, and this Stevens 320 Security model has that feature. This shotgun is a steal — get one now for the amazingly low price of $179.99 ($170.99 Buyer’s Club price). You won’t find a quality, American-made, ghost-ring 12 gauge pump for less money. At this price you can afford to buy two or three. This Stevens 320 Security shotgun is made by Savage Arms.

2. Natchez — Up to 63% Off Popular Riflescopes

Natchez Optics clearance sale discounts

Natchez is slashing prices on many popular scopes, including the 46x48mm side-focus Weaver favored by many benchrest competitors. The savings are impressive. That 46X Weaver is marked down 63%, while the Weaver 6-24x42mm Classic is 60% off. If you need a fixed-power comp scope or a reliable medium-magnification zoom scope for a varmint rifle, check out these deals. You could pay twice as much and not get better optics. There are also big savings on Nikon and Leupold Scopes.

3. EuroOptic — Sako 85 $1098.00 ($900 Off)

Eurooptic.com Sako 85 Tikka 7mm-08

Sako 85 rifles enjoy a reputation for outstanding quality, reliability, and ergonomics. The Sako 85 is a top-tier rifle prized by hunters. Now you can get a handsome, wood-stocked Sako 85 for just $1098.00 — a huge $900.00 savings off the normal price. Chambered in 7mm-08, this “Bavarian” model features a traditional curved-comb stock with nice checkering on grip and fore-arm. This stock shape is quick to mount and works well from a variety of positions in the field. The Bavarian model also comes with back-up iron sights. This is a very nice hunting rig for fans of traditional wood stocks.

4. Natchez — Hornady Case Prep Trio, $79.99 + 100 Free Bullets

Hornady Case Prep Trio Get Loaded Free Bullets

Here’s a really good deal on a handy reloading product, the Case Prep Trio. This versatile device features three powered heads and ships with both Inside Chamferer and Outside Chamferer tools. You can add optional accessories such as large/small primer pocket cleaners, primer pocket reamer, case neck brushes, and other 8-32 threaded tools. This $79.99 deal at Natchez is the best price we’ve found (the unit normally sells for $102.00 or more). Plus, this qualifies Hornady’s Get Loaded Promo. But the Case Prep Trio and you get 100 FREE Hornady Bullets. If you figure those 100 bullets are worth thirty dollars or so, that brings your net cost for the Case Prep Trio to around fifty bucks. We have this tool and it definitively saves time and reduces hand fatigue. NOTE: Be sure you follow ALL the directions when submitting your FREE Bullets claim! You MUST submit a sales receipt. You MUST submit the package UPC. And you MUST submit a $6.95 check for shipping. If you don’t pay $6.95 for shipping you won’t get your bullets. Got that?

5. Sportsman’s Guide — Kahr CW9 Pistol, $249.99

Kahr CW9 carry pistol 9mm

This pistol is an excellent carry gun. It weighs just 15 ounces and is 5.9″ overall. The gun is thin and the controls are well recessed so this Kahr is great for discrete carry — it “prints” less than most of the other guns featured here. The striker-fired Kahr CW9 has a nice trigger pull. Take-up is pretty long, but the engagement is smooth without the hitches/spikes you feel on a Glock trigger pull. Many shooters find they can shoot the Kahr more accurately that a similar-sized Glock due to the smoother trigger. The Kahr CW9 is on sale now at Sportsman’s Guide for just $249.99, or $237.49 Member price. SPECS: DAO, 5.9″ OAL, 0.90″ width, 15 oz. weight.

6. MidwayUSA — Norma .22LR Match-22 Ammo 500 Rds $39.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

This Norma Match-22 ammunition is good stuff. In many rifles it shoots as well as $8/box products from other makers. But now you can get Match-22 for the equivalent of $4 per 50-ct box when you buy 500 rounds. MidwayUSA is selling a 500-round case of Norma Match-22 for just $39.99. That works out to just 8 cents per round. We think you’ll be happy with this ammo. It is a good choice for tactical cross-training and fun shooting.

7. Amazon — Jiallite Scope Bubble Level, $10.69

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This nicely designed Jiallite Scope Bubble Level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product: 89% of verified buyers rated this five stars.

8. B&H — Kowa TSN-501 20-40X Angled Spotting Scope, $299.00

B&H Kowa TSN 501 Compact spotting scope bargain 20-40X

You don’t need to spend big bucks for an effective spotting scope to view mirage. You can get the Kowa TSN-501 Angled Spotting Scope is listed at $349.00 from B&H Photo. But, you can actually buy this Spotter for $299.00 — B&H just can’t advertise it that low. They list $349.00 but you get another $50 discount when you put it in the shopping cart: SEE REAL PRICE HERE. That’s a heck of a deal. This is a super-compact scope with 50mm objective and built-in 20-40X eyepiece. Though relatively new, the small, light-weight TSN-501 can perform basic spotting tasks effectively. This doesn’t have the resolution of the $1500+ spotters but this is fine for viewing mirage and shot markers. Put the money you save into barrels and bullets.

9. Bruno Shooters Supply — BAT Actions on Sale

BAT Actions on Sale

This week, Bruno Shooters Supply is offering significant discounts on In-Stock BAT Machine Actions. Dozens of actions are available right now — no waiting. NOTE: All listed BAT action prices are for check or money order purchase. BAT actions put on a credit card will incur an additional 4% service fee. Additional $40.00 for shipping per action, which can only be shipped to a FFL dealer.

10. Amazon — Top-Rated 43-lb Magnetic Gun Mount, $14.95

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

This heavy-duty Stamaks Magnet is rated to support a full 43 pounds. That means it can actually hold a shotgun or rifle on a gun cabinet door. For the typical handgun installation, it’s even more secure. An “Amazon Choice”, this magnet has earn 98% Five-Star reviews from customers who say the magnets are powerful and the rubber case is very durable. The magnet installs with four screws. Actual review: “Really good quality! Magnet is an extremely durable and strong. Easy to install, highly recommended.” Very slim, this is a good choice for stowing a handgun in a vehicle interior or under a countertop. NOTE: Before placing in a vehicle, review your state’s laws regarding gun transport. The manufacturer states: “Stamaks Gun Magnet will easily hold an object weighing up to 43 lbs of pulling force.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
January 15th, 2018

Primer Pocket and Flash Hole Uniforming Basics

Reloading Case Prep Flash Hole Primer Pocket

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) has published a series of reloading “how-to” articles on its Facebook Page. This post explains how to uniform primer pockets and remove burrs in flash holes. These brass prep operations can help ensure greater consistency, shot after shot. Visit the USAMU Facebook Page each Wednesday for other, helpful “Handloading Hump-Day” tips.

Primer Pocket and Flash-Hole Conditioning

This week, we’ll address a question that frequently arises: “Do you uniform primer pockets and deburr flash-holes?”

As we tailor our handloading methods to the specific needs of each instance, the answer, not surprisingly, is “occasionally!” Generally, the USAMU Handloading Shop does not uniform primer pockets (PP) or deburr flash holes (FH) of our rifle brass. That’s not to say we’re against it — rather, it reflects the very high volume of ammunition loaded, the fact that very few cases are ever re-loaded for a second firing, and the types of brass we use. However, as a need is perceived, we DO deburr flash holes (of which, more later.)

As to the type cases we use, many thousands of our long-range 5.56x45mm cases come to us from the arsenal with the primer of our choice pre-installed and staked in per their usual practice. Obviously, we could not uniform either FHs or PPs on this live-primed brass. However, after careful sorting, inspection and preparation, we do obtain match-winning results with it. Regular readers have seen photos of some of the tiny 1000-yard test groups we’ve fired with weight-selected domestic brass which had neither Primer Pockets uniformed nor flash holes deburred.

Reloading Case Prep Flash Hole Primer Pocket
Figure 1 shows a fired, deprimed 7.62×51 case with primer residue intact. In Figure 2, the primer pocket has been uniformed to SAAMI specs. Note the shiny finish — evidence of the metal removed to uniform and square the primer pocket.

Shooters who reload their brass several times may decide to uniform PPs and deburr FHs, especially on their “300-yard and beyond” brass. Unlike us, they will be using their cases many times, while the operations are only needed once. Also, most handloaders only process a relatively moderate amount of brass compared to our 20-thousand round lots. Having high quality Long Range (LR) brass helps. Many of the better brass manufacturers form their flash holes so that no burrs are created.

Still, it does pay to inspect even THESE manufacturer’s products, as occasional slips are inevitable. Very rarely, some of these makers will have a significant burr in, say, 1 per 1000 or 2000 cases, and it’s worth catching those. Recently, we began processing a large lot of match brass from a premier manufacturer, and were startled to find that every case had a burr in the FH — something we’d never before seen from this maker. We then broke out the FH deburring tool and went to work.

Reloading Case Prep Flash Hole Primer Pocket

For those who do opt for these procedures, note that various tool models may have adjustable depth-stops. Pay attention to the instructions. Some flash hole deburring tools which enter the case mouth, not the primer pocket, depend on uniform case length for best results.

Does It Really Make a Difference?
It can be difficult to truly verify the contribution to accuracy of these procedures, particularly when firing from the shoulder, in conditions. Members of this staff, as individual rifle competitors, do often perform these operations on their privately-owned LR rifle brass.

One could ascribe this to the old High Power Rifle maxim that “if you think it helps, then it helps”. Another thought is to “leave no stone unturned” in the search for accuracy.

However, an extremely talented World Champion and Olympic Gold/Silver medalist commented on his own handloading (for International competition, which demands VERY fine accuracy). He noted that he did seem to see a decline in accuracy whenever he did not uniform FH’s, deburr FH’s and clean primer pockets before each reloading; however, with the wisdom of decades’ experience, he also remarked that “It could have been that I just wasn’t shooting as well that day.”

Permalink - Articles, Reloading 2 Comments »
January 15th, 2018

Guntry Clubs — Posh, Upscale Facilities for Gun Aficionados

Guntry Club Greshame GunVenture Televison Iain Harrison Sig Sauer

Shooting ranges have gone upscale with the development of the “Guntry Club”. This new kind of recreational/social facility combines a shooting range with Country Club style amenities. Imagine a high-tech indoor range with “Pro Shop”, restaurant, and maybe outdoor shooting facilities as well. In the past five years, more and more of these deluxe “Guntry Clubs” have opened nationwide.

This week GunVenture TV takes a look at some of the country’s finest gun clubs. First, join Tom Gresham and RECOIL Magazine’s Iain Harrison at one of the original “Guntry Clubs” — the Scottsdale Gun Club. You’ll tour the exclusive Titanium lounge before heading to the range for some full-auto fun with Sig Sauer’s John Hollister. Then, Tom visits a very high-end facility in Centennial, Colorado. The upscale Centennial Gun Club features a retail store, range, training center, and lounge.

Guntry Club Greshame GunVenture Televison Iain Harrison Sig Sauer

Finally, GunVenture visits the Talladega Super-Speedway, where Ryan Gresham takes a lap on the famous track before visiting at the CMP’s impressive new Talladega Marksmanship Park, which boasts state-of-the-art electronic targets.

Here’s a CBS News report on upscale “Guntry Clubs”, luxurious facilities that target younger, more affluent patrons. Chip Reid reports on a high-end gun club in Manassas, Virginia: “This is not your Grandfather’s shooting range. Elite Shooting Sports is 65000 Square feet of bright lights, polished wood, flat-screen TVs, and state of the art equipment”.

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
January 14th, 2018

Sierra’s New 95gr .224 SMK and other Ultra-High-BC MatchKings

New Sierra MatchKing Bullets 6mm 6.5mm 7mm 30 caliber 224 22

New Sierra MatchKing Bullets 6mm 6.5mm 7mm 30 caliber 224 22Looking for the highest ballistic performance for your benchrest, F-Class, or tactical rifle? Sierra now offers a wide selection of ultra-high-BC bullets in a wide range of popular calibers.

New Heavy .224 SMK – We just learned that Sierra will release a new-for-2018 95-grain MatchKing. This new .224 projectile, Sierra product #1396, has a claimed G1 BC of 0.600 — mighty impressive for a .22-caliber bullet. There are also two new .308-caliber MatchKings, a 200-grainer with 0.715 G1 BC, and a new 230-grainer with a stunning 0.800 G1 BC.

More High-BC MatchKings in All Your Favorite Calibers
Sierra previously released four other very slippery, heavy-for-caliber MatchKings that have raised the BC Bar for their respective calibers. For example, the 150gr 6.5mm bullet really “pushes the envelope”. In past years, 140-142 grains was considered “high end” for a 6.5mm match projectile. Here are Sierra’s BC Leaders for 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm, and .308 calibers. Many of these New Generation MatchKings now come “tipped” from the factory for more uniform BC.

Heavy-for-Caliber, Ultra-High BC Sierra MatchKings

6mm (.243 Caliber)
110 grain MatchKing #1575
0.617 G1 BC

7mm (.284 Caliber)
197 grain MatchKing #1997
0.780 G1 BC

6.5 mm (.264 Caliber)
150 grain MatchKing #1755
0.713 G1 BC

7.62mm (.308 Caliber) NEW
230 grain MatchKing #2251
0.800 G1 BC

SPY PHOTO Reveals New High-BC Sierra MatchKings
One of our Forum members captured a spy photo with all the new-generation High-BC Sierra MatchKings in a line-up. This includes the new 95gr .224 SMK right at the top. The new 200gr and 230gr 30-cal SMKs are near the bottom. NOTE: Sierra already had a 30-Cal 200 grainer, #2230, in its line-up. This is a NEW 200 grain MatchKing, #2231, with a much higher BC — 0.715 vs. 0.565 for the older 200gr bullet. That’s a huge difference in BC, a 26% improvement.

New Sierra MatchKing Bullets 6mm 6.5mm 7mm 30 caliber 224 22

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 4 Comments »
January 14th, 2018

Cheap Tricks — Ten Handy Budget Items For Hand-Loaders

Budget reloading items

Useful reloading gear does not have to be costly. Here are ten handy (and very inexpensive) items that belong on your loading bench or in your range kit.

magnifying glassMagnifying Glass – We use a flat, 2″x2″ pocket 4x-8x magnifier. This folds up on itself. Very handy, we use it to inspect bullets and brass. Use this to check your flash holes for burrs, and check the meplats of your bullets before loading.

Clear 35mm Film Cannister – Use this to transfer the thrown powder charge to the little measuring cup that sits on your scale. That way you don’t get any kernel splash. Also if the charge weight is obviously off, it’s easy to dump back in the measure. A film canister works pretty well as a trickler too.

Compressed Air in a Can -- Get these at office supply stores. Use the can (with tube attached) to blow crud out of cases after cleaning the neck with a brush, and blast loose debris out of primer pockets.

Pin Vise – A simple $7.00 pin vise with a #53 bit is perfect for deburring Lapua PPC and BR flash holes without reaming the flash-holes any larger. The Lapua PPC/BR flash-hole diameter is 1.5 mm, or 0.059″. eHobbyTools.com sells a 1.5mm pin vise bit. Other vendors offer a #53 pin vise bit that measures .0595″ or .060″ (depending or source). You can find pin vises and bits at hobby stores.

Bounce Dryer Sheets – The common dryer sheets eliminate “static cling” on your plastic reloading parts such as powder measure cylinders, powder funnels, and reloading press plastic bins. Thanks to Doc76251 for this tip.

BallistolBallistol Aerosol – Try using this versatile lubricant/solvent for full-length sizing. Spray some on a patch and you can wipe the carbon of your case necks. Then, continue to apply a very small amount of Ballistol on the case bodies — just thin sheen is all you need. Ballistol is super slippery, and easy to remove. For general full-length sizing (on small cases) it works great and doesn’t leave a gooey, waxy, or chalky residue. For heavier case-forming jobs, we recommend Imperial Die Wax.

Shotgun Mop – Stick this in the chamber when using Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner. This will seal off the chamber so the foam doesn’t flow into your action. For long chambers screw on one section of cleaning rod to aid extraction.

Colored Sharpie Marking Pens – Mark your bullets ahead of the bearing surface, and the color transfers to the target. This way you can shoot multiple loads at the same point of aim and discern which load shoots the tightest. (Recommended for 300 yards and beyond). With colored bullet tips you can test multiple loads “round robin” to equalize wind effects. When testing seating depths for example, you can mark the longer-seated set of bullets red and the shorter-seated set green and shoot them during the same sequence. Just look at the colored marks on the target to see which grouped better.

Sharpies Pens

Thin Latex Gloves – You should keep a box of inexpensive, disposable latex gloves (the kind doctors use) in your loading room. These will prevent contamination of primers or powder kernels that you handle directly. Also, use the gloves when handling fine blued tools or firearms to prevent transfering body oils and salts that promote rust.

Plastic Washers for Neck Mic – If you use a Sinclair Neck-wall Micrometer Gauge with integral stand, you can use thin plastic washers to adjust the height of the case on the mandrel. This makes it much easier to measure the same point on the case neck every time. Thanks to MikeCR for this tip (and photo).

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January 13th, 2018

Bunny-Busting with Savage A17 in 17 HMR

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

There’s a nice article in the Western Powders Blog that any varminter will enjoy. In this hare-raising tale, gunwriter Jim Waddell explains how he used a self-loading Savage A17 rifle to take care of a serious jack-rabbit problem on a rancho in California. “[My friends] purchased a huge amount of acreage that had some existing alfalfa fields and [surrounding sagebrush]. Sagebrush is home to jack rabbits. Lots of jack rabbits. The previous owner of this property didn’t do any varmint or predator control[.] The ink wasn’t dry on the escrow papers before [my friends] started asking for help shooting rabbits. A problem in taking these critters is it has to be done at night when they come out to feed as they lay low in the bush during the daylight hours.”

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

Savage A17 Comes to the Rescue
Initially Waddell and some friends took on the jack-rabbit hordes using Ruger 10/22s and a .44 Magnum Marlin lever gun. Neither option was ideal. The .44 Magnum just couldn’t keep up the desired shooting pace (it took too long to reload) ant the .22 LRs were too anemic. So Waddell decided to give the more potent 17 HMR a try. He acquired a Savage A17 and went back for a second bunny-busting session. He came away convinced that the 17 HMR cartridge in the modern semi-auto Savage works great for small varmint control.

Varmint hunting Savage hunter A17 17 HMR California Varminter

Waddell writes: “I wanted more than a .22 after seeing the problems my pals had with their [10/22] bullets not anchoring the rabbits. Armed with my new Savage A17 it was time to head back to the alfalfa fields. This time my hunting partner was Dan, my son-in-law from Seattle. We hunted for four nights. Each night was either raining, windy or both. My question about whether or not rabbits would be out in the weather was answered immediately. They were everywhere. As miserable as the weather was, we got all the shooting we wanted and that Savage rifle was up to the task. We got so many rabbits it was impossible to count.” CLICK HERE for the full account of Waddell’s jack-rabbit adventures on the California rancho. It’s worth a read. Here is a sample:

Wabbits, Wabbits Everywhere — Even Running Right at You
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a sea of rabbits as far as the lights would shine and when the light beams hit the bunnies, they became confused and as often as not, would run right at the lights so a good percentage of our shots were literally in spitting distance. It was also a new experience shooting at targets that are running TOWARD you. Most of us who’ve done much hunting for game or varmints have experienced moving targets but how many of those targets are coming at you?

Read Full Story on Western Powders Blog »

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